Conditions such as diabetes can appear as gum disease and
be the causative factor of the problem. Diabetes is a chronic degenerative disease caused by a lack of the hormone
insulin. Insulin is essential for the proper metabolism of
blood sugar. Excessive glucose (blood sugar) in the body’s
system is toxic. People with diabetes have abnormally high
carbohydrate and sugar in their diets. Gum disease and dental
problems are more prevalent in patients with diabetes and
excessive glucose levels. People with diabetes also have a
tendency to have bad breath due to excess acid in their systems.
It is well known by dental professionals that patients
with diabetes have dry mouths, and that less oxygen is consumed
by their system. The lack of oxygen to the mouth can
cause the gum tissue to dry out and loosen. Loose gum tissue
can lead to pockets that then become a holding place for
food and bacteria, and the bacteria under the gum can eat
away the bone. In addition, people with diabetes have difficulty
healing; therefore, even a scraping of the gum can lead
to a sore, infected abscess.
People who have diabetes can easily acquire abscesses
on their gums and usually have noticeable changes of the
mucous membranes in their mouth. A condition called
angular chelitis can develop, which appears as cracks in
the corners of the mouth. This is common for people with
• See your dental hygienist frequently for cleanings.
• Ask your doctor about regulating your diet, so that you
are less prone to excessive blood sugar levels.
• Drink healing foods, in particular, juices that can
reduce the acids in your mouth. The juice from string
beans, parsley, cucumber, celery, and watercress can
reduce acid-mouth. Another suggestion is to combine carrots, celery, parsley, spinach, and broccoli in a
blender. Use three or four carrots with stems, four or
five stems each of celery and broccoli, and a few
sprigs of parsley along with a handful of spinach.
Process, and have one or two glasses of this a day.
Juice made from all these ingredients will help “cool
down” the gum tissue that has become “heated up”
from acids in the mouth. Blueberries are also a smart
food choice, as they create a more alkaline environment
in the mouth.
Women often show signs of gum problems during menstruation.
This is because the monthly cycle brings on various
hormonal changes among the hypothalamus, the pituitary
gland, and the ovaries. At the beginning of each cycle, estrogen
causes a thickening of the lining of the uterus (the
endometrium) with blood; the cervical fluid is released,
resulting in menstruation.
The mouth also releases fluid, and bleeding gums may
appear before, during, and sometimes after menstruation.
Hormonal changes also affect gum tissue, leaving the gums
soft and spongy. Have you noticed that around the time of
your period your toothbrush becomes red? Don’t get scared;
it is a natural process. I have observed that when my female
patients have abnormally soft, spongy gum tissue, they are
either menstruating or about to menstruate. Your immune
system also is affected by hormonal changes. A weakened
area in your mouth may become even weaker at this time.
You also may notice an area in your mouth that bothers you during menstruation, and then after your period cycle it
seems to be fine.
• Massage the gums with a soft brush, which brings
blood flow to them.
• Brush with a cleanser such as baking soda, which will
also neutralize the acids in your mouth. Baking soda is
not abrasive and can help keep the space between the
teeth and gums clean.
• Rinse with sea salt.
• If you are premenstrual or have your menses, eat fresh
fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fish.